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Sun, soreness, sigh (of relief)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's another beautiful day! It's a bit windy right now, but the hourly forecast read that it should calm down by this evening. A perfect night for running! I'm meeting up with some of the ladies from First Strides - they do a walk-run Galloway plan, and their run pace looks to be right on target with mine. yahoo! It will be nice to run with a group where I don't feel like I have to sprint to catch up.
Last night I went to a state park to do some mountain biking (well, low-grade hill biking, I should say) but phew! what a workout! There were some hills and rocks and my quads felt it. I can't wait to get better at biking so I can really zoom through the woods. It was really nice getting out there. It was a little windy, so I was only out there for about 45 minutes. I'm going to check the weather and my trail map for tomorrow so I can get a bit more time on the bike.

Wasn't feeling the early morning swim today. Mondays and Fridays seem to be the best days for me to get some laps in...

And the best news is that I passed my Masters Comprehensive Exams! At the end of May I will officially have my Masters Degree. I am SO excited! What a huge relief. Now I just need to think of a good way to celebrate!

The only to-do I didn't do yesterday was clean the dining room table. But I did it this morning, so I guess that's just fine.

Today I will:
Drink at least 4 Siggs of water
Pack my lunch for Thursday
Put my bike in the car for tomorrow afternoon
Clean up the living room

Have a super sunny day! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROGUE_1 4/28/2010 4:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CAMROLA 4/28/2010 9:56AM

    You rock!


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MAYGIRL14 4/28/2010 8:23AM

    BIG CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR MASTER'S!!! I hope you reward yourself with something very special for such a satisfying achievement! emoticon emoticon

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KARVY09 4/28/2010 8:16AM

    I never thought biking was much of a workout, but it totally is! And congrats on your Masters! You definitely deserve a great celebration for that one!

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Manage Your Money

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I thought it was so funny that everyone had a different name for those jigglies under the arm!

The Fourth Gateway: Manage Your Money
I read this chapter while on the stationary bike, so I think I'll have to re-read it to get the deeper meaning. But from what I read, the author writes that money has often been portrayed as being evil, while not having money has been portrayed as being noble (think Robin Hood, Scrooge McDuck...). He then goes on to write that it's not money that's inherently evil, it's what we do with it. He wrote a little story about how he saw something that a celebrity did with their money, and he though it was totally ridiculous. How dare they spend their money like that! But then he realized that the celebrity worked hard for their money and gave much of their earnings to charity... who was he to judge what she did with her money?
So this got me thinking about my own money issues. I used to be totally careless with my money and credit - racking up bills, buying whatever I wanted at that moment, and not planning for my future. Many thousands of dollars later, I have cut down on my spending and really think about my purchases and where my money is going. I am finally at a point in my life where I can easily identify my values and goals (with much help from SparkPeople!) and when I *do* spend my money, I don't feel guilty about it. All this from a book.

So this book is really helping me to be happy about where I am in life right now, while still working toward fulfilling my goals and living life according to my values.

This afternoon is a little bike ride on a trail (I get to try out the new bike and helmet!!!). The forecast says wind, but a little wind won't kill me; it will help me to figure out the conditions in which I can ride comfortably.

Today I will:
Drink at least 4 Siggs of water
Pack lunch for Wednesday
Clean the dining room table
Fold laundry from Sunday (yikes!)

Have a super day!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROGUE_1 4/28/2010 4:24PM

    I DEFINITELY need to work on managing my money. I've been really working on not shopping as much (I went 2 months without shopping - this is a MAJOR feat for me!) but then recently just bought that bag. Sooo, back to square one. Time for another self imposed shopping ban! This book you are reading sounds really interesting...

Have a great ride today.

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GROOVYCHICK9 4/27/2010 8:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JWENZEL723 4/27/2010 2:59PM

    great lesson we all need to keep in our heads. it's amazing all the different facets of life that Spark weasles its way into and helps us. :)

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TMAC10 4/27/2010 9:55AM

    what book are you reading? sounds amazing! i'd love to check it out!

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MLKOLAR 4/27/2010 9:11AM

    Hope you have a great day and really enjoy your ride. emoticon

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GSDMIKE 4/27/2010 9:05AM

    Glad to hear you got a helmet. Enjoy your ride, and yeah, the wind won't kill you, though it might feel like it's trying.

emoticon emoticon

That's the wind pushing you back, not you popping a wheely, just in case it wasn't clear...

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The right to bare arms

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yes, I *did* mean "bare." Over the weekend I found some focus and a goal. Buff arms for the summer. Instead of dance class yesterday morning, which I only enjoy a little bit, I decided to get in some biking (I did 45 minutes on the stationary bike!) and some great arm strength training. I did a bunch of really good arm stuff, and I'm definitely feeling it today. That's a good thing. My triceps are even sore, which rarely happens. These bingo arms have to go! (*note - Bingo arms are the flab under the arm, named after old ladies who yell out "Bingo!" and swing their arms around in the air while they call out.)

This morning was a little swim (I am doing much better with a 20 minute swim rather than a 30 minute swim - those 10 minutes make a huge difference!) and I could feel the soreness in my upper body. I'm excited that I'm able to do my own workouts at the gym to make my muscles work hard. I think it means I'm mentally tougher and able to push myself harder. Wahoo!

It felt really good to be in control of my day yesterday. It was my choice to go to the gym and do strength training instead of dance class. I feel like the classes at the gym were starting to become a habit (for good or for bad) and I was going because I felt like I *had* to go, not because I really *wanted* to go. Now that the weather is starting to get nice (well, not today, it's raining), I'm really determined to spend more time outside getting some exercise.

Today I will:
Drink at least 4 Siggs of water (I'm already at 2!)
Pack lunch for Tuesday
Spend quality time with honey (the cleaning can wait until a night when he is at work!)
Give someone a compliment

Have a super day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GROOVYCHICK9 4/27/2010 8:44PM

    LOL!!!!!!!! I am hysterical over the bingo arms. That is soooooo funny. Sounds like you are getting your focus and what we focus on we change.


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GOALIEGRANDMA3 4/27/2010 2:55PM

    Is there really something that helps bingo arms? I just feel it is too late for me, nomatter how thin I get...the arms are a result of age and being fat too long to make that change.

I wear 3/4 or long sleeves.

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EATNBOOGERS 4/27/2010 12:07AM

    I prefer the term "batwings." ;-)

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GIGI1222 4/26/2010 5:44PM

    I will never look at bingo in the same way emoticon

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TORTUETOO 4/26/2010 5:40PM

    I like bingo arms - mine have to go too. :) I've been meaning to ask this for awhile, but what is a Sigg?

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KAYAKID 4/26/2010 5:25PM

    Carrie, thats funny about the arms - You go girl! soon you will have swimmer's arms - which are well toned all around. thanks for goodie and yes my interview is today not until 8pm though - that would be 11pm your time. Its for graveyard shift - so I hope it all goes well. Have a great day! keep working those arms!


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ROGUE_1 4/26/2010 4:33PM

    Bingo arms! I'd never heard that phrase before and it made me giggle. You're going to have lean, toned arms for sure if you keep this up!

p.s. Glad it wasn't just me with the shorty-shorts issues!!! I can't wait to be able to wear them to run with no more tugging.

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JWENZEL723 4/26/2010 3:23PM

    bingo arms - hahaha! i've never heard that...too funny!

great plan for the day. definitely some TLC for you and your honey. :)

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SOUTHGOINGZAX 4/26/2010 10:54AM

    It's funny, I am/was reading two books at once, and even though they were about very different topics (the history of women in the U.S. from 1950 to the present and financial planning for women), they had interlocking themes about women getting paid less than men, about marriage creating economic disadvantages for women, etc. Now I am re-reading "The New Rules of Lifting for Women" (because I am starting the ST plan over) and the themes in THAT book are coinciding with the themes from the financial planning book AND from the self-help book you are reading, AND SP in general. It's about goal setting - and about how so many people put their lives on auto-pilot, but that usually causes them to end up somewhere they didn't want to be, and how to make goals happen, you have to WRITE THEM DOWN and they have to be specific, not wishes or dreams. The simple act of writing down your goals makes them "real" enough that you can start planning how to accomplish them. It's all very thought provoking for me...and it's clearly something that you have a good understanding of - you are great at goal setting and accomplishing your goals - yay you!

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MAYGIRL14 4/26/2010 8:30AM

    Great goals...I am right there with you on the arms!!! We call them waddles after turkey waddles....weird, huh?!

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CFMOSS 4/26/2010 8:04AM

    Love the goals of the day:) It's funny about the upper body work - the first time I discovered my triceps I was amazed - but oh can they protest being worked - I have really benefitted from a body sculpting class which usually has an upper body focus once a week. Have a great day.

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PINKCOCONUT 4/26/2010 7:50AM

    I'm right there with you! I'm really focusing on getting rid of these hamhocks (funny how we all have different names for them!)! More push-ups and pushing myself on strengthening. I can handle my tummy for now as I'm used to it but my arms are really bugging me now! Time to get serious!

*high fives*

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ALASKASKY 4/26/2010 7:48AM

    Sounds really good. emoticon

It does feel good to be in control. I like that you post your goals for the day. I also know what you mean by bingo arms. I have them and I the older I get the more I can't stand to cover them up when it's hot outside. I have to find some good exercises to tone them up, I've been doing the pushups in the strength tracker but it's not enough.


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Sunday, April 25, 2010

My best friend and I went shopping yesterday at some outdoor shoppes (yes, "shoppes"). It was a beautiful day, I was ready to spend some money (on a helmet and bike rack), and I found a really good place for dinner. I haven't gone shopping with anyone else in a really really long time... I usually like to go by myself so I can try a bunch of stuff on, put it on hold, go back... it gets long and annoying (even to me!). But despite my strange shopping habits, we had a really good time. But I did observe some things that I thought were interesting...
Female salespeople seem to be much nicer to people who are thin; people who are "supposed" to fit into their clothes.
I am much nicer to salespeople now that I am smaller. There was a shop we went into yesterday to look for some shoes - it's a boutique shop, and they sell lots of designer stuff - and the salesgirls were all thin. The funny thing was, I didn't even think twice about it. Usually I'd go into a place like that and think "they must think I'm so fat, I don't even know what I'm doing in here." There was none of that yesterday.

I bought a helmet yesterday at L.L.Bean. It's a Bell with a visor on it. I trust the Bell brand, but something strange happened and I didn't even realize it was strange until this morning. The first question the guy asked me was "what color is your bike?" I answered and he got me a helmet with a visor because I told him I'd be riding on trails. This morning I thought "huh, that was strange. He probably should have first asked me where I'd be riding my bike." I could give a rip what color my helmet is, I just want it to save my life if I crash! Weird.
Didn't get a bike rack yesterday. Even though the guy at LLBean was a little shady (I felt like he thought I was some dumb girl), he did tell me that Thule is coming out with a new trunk rack on May 4th that doesn't use straps, it has a cable system. I checked it out online when I got home, and it looks really cool. He was telling me that it doesn't sway as much and it's much sturdier than a strap system. I think I can wait until May 4th. Until then, I'll take the front wheel off my bike and carefully put it in my back seat.

Today is some stationary bike and strength training. There is a dance class at 9:00, but I am really making an effort to work toward my goal of having muscle-y arms by summer. Focus.

Sunday's to-dos:
Drink at least 4 Siggs of water
Pack lunch for Monday
Choose outfits for the week
Put away purchases from yesterday


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LALAFLOWERS 4/26/2010 9:23AM

    I like Bell... but the biggest thing is fit! Does it fit snugly, over your forehead? Does it stay there? this is one of my pet peeves with the kids I see.,, Helmets that aren't protecting anything. The straps need to be snug, so that if you go a$$ over teakettle, your helmet stays put... and does it's job of protecting your head. Have fun riding!

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PINKCOCONUT 4/26/2010 7:47AM

    I've been noticing differences in myself while shopping as well. Some days I have the old "fat" thoughts and others it's like it's not a big deal! The change has slooowly been taking over! Yeah!

Good to know about the bike rack too!

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ROGUE_1 4/26/2010 12:32AM

    As soon as I saw the title of this blog, I though, oooh FUN! Shopping - draws me in every time ;)

It's interesting to see how sales people treat shoppers. Makes me sad, everyone should be treated WELL no matter what size they are! Ahhh, it can be a cruel cruel world. I have noticed that in general, people are nicer and more accommodating, more friendly to those who are slim compared to those who are overweight. When I lost 20+ lbs about a little less than a year ago, I noticed right away how people were quicker to help, more apt to do nice things just because. It's quite disturbing actually because I'm the SAME exact person as I was 20 lbs ago...

I can't believe that salesman!

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SOUTHGOINGZAX 4/25/2010 6:29PM

    OMG - you don't care if your helmet matches your bike?!!!? You're disrupting the whole flow of the universe with an attitude like that!!!

I used to ride all the time, I really enjoyed it - until I got hit by a car while I was in a crosswalk and had 4 broken, now I'm much more of a go-it-on-my-own-two-feet kind of person.

Muscle-y arms:

two exercises that I find very helpful for building arm muscle up fast are the flexed arm hang and, of course, push-ups of all variations.

For the flexed arm hang, you just need a bar. You can do palms facing you or palms away from you (harder). You can try hands wider apart and hands closer together. Use a step to position yourself with your head above the bar, your arms flexed. Then bend your knees and pick your feet up behind you so you are supporting your body weight with your arms. Lower yourself SLOWLY down - as slow as you can go. Repeat 2-3 times. Your goal is to take 20 seconds to get from the start position with your arms totally flexed to hanging with your arms straight.

Push-ups - I like porpoise (some call them tiger push-ups) push-ups for building upper arm and shoulder muscles, but they are difficult to do. Try one arm push-ups (lie on one side, your bottom arm crosses up on your rib cage, your top arm is down with palm on the floor near your opposite elbow. Using your top arm, push yourself up - it's a real workout and is great for tricep definition. Another push-up variation that really focuses on the arm strength (rather than back/shoulder strength) is to use a medicine ball and place your hands on it as if you were going to throw it over your head (your hands are parallel and slightly to the side of the ball). Then get in push-up position with the ball on the floor, and do push-ups with your hands on the ball. If that's too easy, lift one leg and do a set of 5, then switch and lift the other leg.

Just some of my favorites for muscle definition!

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EATNBOOGERS 4/25/2010 10:49AM

    When I was in college, someone tried to sell me a bike based on the color. Uh, nice try. I have a Bell helmet with a visor, too. It's red. My bike is blue. But I can live with that. ;-)

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RUNNER4LYFE 4/25/2010 7:59AM

    Looks like ur into this new lifestyle mentally. emoticon I look fwd to being there someday myself.

Question - whats a Sigg?

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Everyday Enlightenment

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Everyday Enlightenment: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth is the title of the book I started reading. I always thought these "enlightenment" books sounded dumb because of the cheesy titles, but there are lots of Spark Buddies out there right now reading books like this. I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did!

The First Gateway: Discover Your Worth
This chapter was about making choices that are based on what you think you deserve. I don't want to sound all high and mighty, but I *do* make good choices because I *do* believe I deserve good things. I know I'm worthy; this chapter was good to read, anyway.

The Second Gateway: Reclaim Your Will
This chapter just blew me away. The author writes about willpower - to paraphrase, it's not willpower that most people lack, it's focus. Bam. Hit the nail on the head. I couldn't figure out why I was stuck in this little rut on the way to reaching my goals, and lack of focus is exactly my problem. This chapter had a little bit of educational philosophy in it - do one thing, and do it well. Like in education, it is beneficial to learn one thing but learn a lot about it.
The author suggests that we stop trying to do a million things and instead focus on what we really want. I thought "geez, this sounds exactly like me!" I have been running, swimming, biking, yoga-ing, Pilates-ing, dancing, strength training... and none of it has been focused. My goal is to have visible muscles for the summer. While dancing, Pilates, and yoga are great, they really are not contributing greatly to my goal. I need to focus on those activities that are going to help me reach my goal. I have taken enough classes at the gym for long enough that I know which ones I really like and which ones are just kind of "eh."
For instance, I only kind of like dancing. I tried it a few times, and it's just not my bag. And while it burns calories, I'd rather be burning calories on my bike or on my running legs. So instead of spending my time doing something I kind of like, I'm going to start spending my time doing something I *really* like.
Maybe instead of taking three yoga/Pilates classes each week, I'll only take one (because i really *do* enjoy them) until I am close to or at my muscle goal. My goals are certainly free to change, but until then, I need to choose one goal and give it 100%.

"...the best way to get something done is to do it."

Today is a group run, and then a shopping afternoon to get a bike rack and helmet. Yahoo! I am going with a very good friend. I always look forward to spending time with her. She is a great friend and I know I can always count on her. Neat thing about her - she has a beautiful voice, and she just won a trip to Las Vegas in a karaoke contest. How cool is that?

Today I will:
Drink at least 4 Siggs of water
Read some more about enlightening myself
Plan next week's workout schedule (based on my recent enlightenment)

Have a super sunny day!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GROOVYCHICK9 4/25/2010 8:57PM

    Just ordered the book on your recommendation. I have read some of his "stuff" before. He is great. I am looking forward to reading it. Have a great night. You rock!!!!!


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CAMROLA 4/25/2010 12:01PM

    Sounds interesting--I may just give it a look myself. Thanks for sharing!


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RIPPEDPAUL1 4/25/2010 7:56AM

    A great entry and keep us posted on your book. I'll check it out too.

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BIPPA2002 4/24/2010 11:21AM

    It's funny how you "know" something as a truth but you have to read it to get that AH, HA moment. Then you know in your heart that it been true all along! I work for a coaching firm and our lead coach always says have no more then three goals at a time, and no two in the same area. Have one for home, one for work, and one for health/fitness. That way you are focused fully on that one thing and it's amazing what can happen!

Have a great run this morning!

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SEPPIESUSAN 4/24/2010 9:28AM

    To be honest, the title kind of turned me off too, but I read more closely when I saw that you said that the 2nd chapter blew you away. I totally agree that when I lack willpower (sometimes I lack it, other times I have tons) I also lack focus. Thanks for putting it in new terms for me.

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GROEDER 4/24/2010 7:02AM

    Sounds like a very good book. Thanks for sharing.

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ANDASI 4/24/2010 6:39AM

    I second this notion of focusing on one thing. This works for me when im all over the place i get overwhelmed and feel scatered.

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KENP22 4/24/2010 6:28AM

  a positive entry. thanks.

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